There’s a tag on my little Mini Flat Iron (the mini flat iron I use to straighten a triumvirate of mini curls on my forehead) that offers this stern admonition: Do Not Use in Bathtub.
A flat iron, in case you were not born with curls in unacceptable places, looks like this:
I don’t know about you, but I tend to avoid using anything electric, especially anything that plugs into the wall, whilst I’m sitting in a large tub of already-warm water. I don’t use the toaster oven while I’m in the bath. I don’t vacuum while I’m in the bath. I don’t make smoothies while I’m in the bath.
Yet the warning is right there.
And it’s not just flat iron companies that have a monopoly on silly warnings. Check out this one on Buddy’s and Sweetie’s Razor Scooters:
This label warns: “This product moves when used.”
Are there some kids who ask Santa for an immobile scooter? Are tricks and stunts a whole lot harder OR a whole lot easier on an immobile scooter?
Then there’s this one:
Right-o. But if I hold the chain saw in the proper way, can I use it in the bath tub? In the bathtub on my mobile scooter?
There are other warnings about NOT putting kids and pets in the clothes dryer. Warnings about NOT using Scrubbing Bubbles Fresh Brush (the bathroom cleaner) “for personal hygiene.” Warnings about how a 13-inch wheelbarrow wheel is NOT “intended for highway use.”
I like to think I’m not alone in my reluctance to put a wheelbarrow wheel on my minivan and drive to Yellowstone. Yet this warning exists. Why?
Some might say these warnings are an inherent part of any CYA, uber-litigious society.
Others might say these warnings exist because we have become a nation of dum-dums: people who watch too much reality television, people who don’t read books, people who somehow believe Obama is Muslim. As dum-dums, we rely on little reminders about, for example, the right vs. the wrong end of a chainsaw. And whether a scooter with wheels on the bottom will move.
But I think the real reason for Warnings is one part Darwinism and one part terrorism.
That’s right. Just stay with me for a moment. STAY WITH ME! It will all become clear (mostly) in the next paragraphs.
To explain: Charles Darwin, as you know, coined those famous phrases, “survival of the fittest” and “natural selection.” And I think he got it right. A society thrives and prospers when its fittest survive. Sooooo, what if there’s a terrorist group that wants the unfittest to survive?
Obviously, we who would flat iron our hair while submerged in water are not, perhaps, the Fittest our society has to offer. So what if this particular group of Darwinistic terrorists wants us dum-dums to avoid being electrocuted or maimed or put in the dryer SO THAT we can procreate SO THAT we can give birth to kids who are equally dim witted SO THAT their terrorist organization can take over the entire country during a single episode of American Idol.
But here’s the great ironic twist in my conspiracy theory: Darwinistic terrorists (or any other terrorist group for that matter) do NOT warn us about the things that really should include the strongest and sternest of warnings. Like having a baby. Or getting married. Or enrolling one’s children in the Seattle Public School system.
Oh, just kidding. I LOVE (mostly) Seattle Public Schools. It’s their totally un-navigable website that I can’t abide. That website should come with a warning. A warning AND an apology. Probably also a promise that our kids are not being educated with the methods used in creating that website.
I’m not sure where Darwinistic terrorists fall on the idea of NOT warning us about the important things, and this is probably where, friends, my conspiracy theory gets a little holey. Or, as Husbandio pointed out, a lot holey. But who cares! Creating conspiracy theories is really fun! You should try it!
In fact, this leads me to a second warning-related conspiracy theory. Maybe it’s OUR PARENTS who make up another group of terrorists. Pro-population terrorists. They withhold all warnings about the difficulties and challenges of marriage and parenthood because they want GRANDKIDS. So we, trusting our parents, nod our heads and say I Do, shortly after which we toss the birth control out the window and start a family. The next thing we know, our parents are smiling happily, a grandkid on each knee. Meanwhile, we’re sitting in a pile of Lego and Goldfish crackers, sobbing softly (or, in my case, loudly) because this was supposed to feel different. Wasn’t it?
Or, maybe we aren’t warned about any of the important stuff because it’s impossible to be warned about life’s most important things. And anyway, Falling in Love or Feeling the Biological Clock or Fervently (Mostly) Believing in the Concept of Public Education always overrides all warnings.
But here’s the truth: I’m glad I wasn’t warned or persuaded to take a different path.
My marriage may be 1-3 cm. shy of Storybook, but the longer I’m married to Husbandio, the more certain I am that I won the lottery when we I do’d each other.
Buddy and Sweetie, now officially 1st and 3rd graders, have turned into fabulously funny and interesting people, kids whom I now only occasionally want to lock in the basement. Seriously, this is the start of the second week of summer, and only three times have I wanted to lock them in the basement. And yes, there was that the time on Saturday when I wanted to hop into or onto something other than a minivan and drive off into the sunset with Husbandio. But then I got a good night’s sleep and my kids were no longer creatures from whom I wanted to escape.
As for my relationship with Seattle Public Schools, well, I can still write a little better than Buddy and Sweetie, but they’ve both surpassed me in Everyday Math and Knowledge of the Iditarod and The Life Cycle of the Butterfly. So that’s cool.
So now you go: what things or people or events in your life should have come with a warning? Should your mother-in-law have come with a warning? Should your stint on match.com have come with a warning? Should your decision to buy a minivan or skinny jeans have come with a warning? Please share your warnings, serious or funny or just plain insightful.
And, if you’re interested in starting a Conspiracy Theory Club, meet me at the park just down the street on Sunday at 7:00 a.m. I’ll bring brownies and probably some Goldfish Crackers, in case we want something savory to go with the sweet. And it’s OK if your first conspiracy theories have a few holes. The best ones usually do.